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PHE workers not paid for months, threaten protest

Srinagar, Sep 24: The workers in the Public Health and Engineering (PHE) department on Monday threatened to lockdown their offices in case the government failed to release their salaries within two days.
The casual labourers, ITI workers, and land donors associated with department said their salaries have been withheld for a long time.
“For the last five months, daily wagers and ITI workers have not received a single penny. Casual labourers and land donors are without salaries for the last 21 months. We have been pushed to the wall as we don’t have any money left,” said a casual labourer, Ali Mohammad.
They said they have been giving their best to the department while the authorities have not been doing anything about their issues.
“We work to the best of our abilities. The authorities have adopted a lackadaisical approach towards our issue. We appeal the governor and his administration to release our salaries at the earliest,” said a daily-wager Riyaz Ahmad.
They said they approached the concerned authorities several times for their salaries.
“We received only assurances. Nothing concrete has been happening. Ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, we were assured that our salaries will be released,” said Chairman Kashmir PHE Joint Employees Association, Sajad Ahmad.
“Now we can’t wait. If our salaries are not released, we will hit the streets. The onus of any eventuality arising eventuality out of our protests would come on to the government.”
Chief Engineer PHE department, Abdul Wahid, said the salaries would be released soon.
“The case is under the consideration of the government. Hopefully their salaries would be released within the next couple of days,” he said.